Triggers and Teaching

More Methods to Avoid Problems

3. Think of ‘triggers’ that set off behavior problems in your child.┬áCommon ones are too much noise, crowds and too many distractions. When she feels overwhelmed by too much happening, a child may engaged in stereotypical behavior such as rocking back and forth or waving her fingers in front of her eyes repeatedly. Children with disabilities such as autism may be highly sensitive to texture and refuse to wear certain clothes. That cute little patch of Donald Duck sewn on to that shirt may really bother a child who is hypersensitive to touch. No matter how cute she looks in it, if she screams when you make her wear it, return the shirt. There may be a neighbor or relative that your child simply cannot get along with. Instead of trying to force her to be nice to her cousin, Jared, simply don’t go over to Jared’s house with your daughter along if you can avoid it.

4. Teach children how to act appropriately before problems happen.

Act out playing with other children,

“Okay, I’ll pretend I am your sister. Now, when I say, ‘Jordan, I want to play with the ball. Give me the ball.’ What do you do?”

If the child hits at you or yells, “NO!” this is your chance to correct him without either of you getting upset.

“Okay, now I am sad. Look at my sad face,” (mother makes a horrible face), “No hitting. No screaming. Understand? Try this. Try saying, ‘It’s my turn now. You play with it later.'”

As your child gets older, help him with problem-solving. Ask questions like,

“What do you think will happen if you hit Lily with the ball? What could you do if you both want to play with it?”

This is even more necessary with children with Autism because they may have difficulties with getting inside someone else’s head, which brings us back to the usefulness of social stories, comic strips and similar activities.

Now aren’t you glad you did those assignments?